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China, the United States, bargaining, and climate change

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  • Robert Shum

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Abstract

Knowing what is at stake in terms of likely damages from accumulating greenhouse gases, how can major emitters fail to reach agreement on limits? Bargaining analysis suggests that an uneven distribution of abatement costs over time may play a significant part. Using a stylized, complete-information model of the strategic space facing the two largest emitters of greenhouse gases, China and the United States, a simple numerical example reaches a strong and surprising conclusion: To be feasible under current technological and economic conditions, any international agreement on climate change will have to allocate a level of future emissions for carbon dioxide in China that is at least twice as large as the level for the United States, in order to account for the effects on Chinese interests from continued economic growth. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Shum, 2014. "China, the United States, bargaining, and climate change," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 83-100, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:ieaple:v:14:y:2014:i:1:p:83-100
    DOI: 10.1007/s10784-013-9231-4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Robert Gampfer, 2016. "Minilateralism or the UNFCCC? The Political Feasibility of Climate Clubs," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 16(3), pages 62-88, August.
    2. Alejandro Caparrós, 2016. "Bargaining and International Environmental Agreements," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 65(1), pages 5-31, September.

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